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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

April 2019 - What's for Dinner? Ask Linda


To celebrate Easter and all things spring, Linda Cahill shares some healthy and delicious recipes and cooking tips for making healthy meals from The Pampered Chef. Who says you have to stick to a traditional menu? Shake things up with some delicious recipes for casual meals and add your own special touches.

Start out with some Perfect Party Punch (add a little white wine or Vodka if it’s just the adults). Put out a few appetizers and enjoy the afternoon. Prepare your main dish and a side dish in the Pampered Chef Quick Cooker, while you enjoy your guests – add a delicious Caesar salad and finish up with some cookies or mouth-watering Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie.  

Whether she’s demonstrating products for The Pampered Chef while preparing delicious recipes at a Pampered Chef party, helping out in her parish, entertaining friends and family, or making a meal for a sick friend, Linda always knows “What’s for Dinner?”

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Six cups (1.5 L) chilled cranberry juice cocktail

4 cups (1 L) chilled ginger ale

1 can (12 oz/355 mL) frozen orange-pineapple juice concentrate, thawed

1 orange


Place the cranberry juice cocktail, ginger ale, and orange-pineapple juice concentrate in the Trifle Bowl.

Cut the orange into slices using a Utility Knife. Place the slices into the bowl.

Stir until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Yield: 12 servings of 1 cup (250 mL)

Nutrients per serving: Calories 140, Total Fat 0 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 10 mg, Carbohydrate 38 g, Fiber 0 g, Protein 0 g

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12 eggs

1/2 cup (125 mL) mayonnaise

2 oz (60 g) cream cheese, softened

1/2 tbsp (7 mL) Dijon mustard

2 tsp (10 mL) finely chopped fresh dill weed

1 tsp (5 mL) white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

8 oz (250 g) cold-smoked salmon, divided

Snipped fresh dill weed for garnish (optional)


Arrange the eggs in the 12” (30-cm) Steamer. Fill the All-Purpose Pot with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When the water comes to a boil, place the steamer onto the pot. Cover and allow the eggs to steam for 16 minutes. Remove the steamer and run the eggs under cold water. Allow the eggs to cool completely in the refrigerator before peeling.

Cut the eggs in half lengthwise. Carefully remove the yolks and place them in a Classic Batter Bowl; set the whites aside. Mash the yolks with the Mix 'N Masher. Stir in the mayonnaise, cream cheese, mustard, dill weed, vinegar, and salt until well blended. Finely chop the salmon using a Chef's Knife, reserving a large piece for garnish. Add the chopped salmon to the yolk mixture; mix well.

Attach the open star tip to the Easy Accent® Decorator; fill with the yolk mixture. Pipe the mixture into the whites. Thinly slice the reserved piece of salmon and garnish eggs. Sprinkle with additional dill weed, if desired. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Yield: 24 servings of 1 appetizer

Nutrients per serving: Calories 90, Total Fat 7 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 110 mg, Sodium 190 mg, Carbohydrate 0 g, Fiber 0 g, Protein 5 g

U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 high-fat meat (0 carb)

Cook's Tips:

Cold-smoked salmon is cured in a mixture of salt, sugar, and spices. You can find these paper-thin slices in vacuum packs at most grocery stores—just check the fish department!

Make-Ahead Idea: These deviled eggs can be prepared and garnished up to a day in advance. When you’re done prepping, cover them loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.


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1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil, divided

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) seedless red grapes, cut in half

 5-minute dough or 1 lb. (450 g) prepared pizza dough

2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh rosemary, divided

8 oz (250 g) brie cheese cut into ¼” (6 mm) slices

2 tbsp (30 mL) prepared balsamic glaze


Preheat grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat (400-450°F/200-230°C).

Heat oil in 12” (30-cm) Executive Nonstick Skillet over medium-high heat 1-3 minutes. Add grapes; leave undisturbed 4-6 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove from Skillet; set aside.

Prepare 5-Minute Dough according to recipe directions, stirring in 1 tbsp (15 mL) rosemary to dry ingredients. Divide dough in half; form into two balls.

Roll out one ball into a half moon shape using lightly floured Baker’s Roller®. Brush Rockcrok Grill Stone® with remaining oil. Transfer onto half of Grill Stone; repeat with remaining ball. Pierce entire surface of dough using pastry tool.

Place Grill Stone on grid of grill. Grill, covered, 9-13 minutes or until bottom of crust is golden brown, rotating Grill Stone halfway through grill time. Remove Grill Stone from grill.

Flip crust over. Arrange cheese and grapes over crusts. Grill 4-6 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown. Remove Grill Stone from grill.

Drizzle with balsamic glaze and top with remaining rosemary. Cut flatbread in half lengthwise and into fourths.

Yield: 16 servings of 1 slice

Nutrients per serving: Calories 60, Total Fat 1.5 g, Saturated Fat 0.5 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 150 mg, Carbohydrate 13 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 3 g

Cook's Tips:

To prepare this recipe in a conventional oven, preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).  Prepare recipe as directed in Steps 1-5.  Bake crusts on lowest rack of oven 14-16 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Top as directed in Step 7.  Bake 6-9 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown.


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1½ cups (375 mL) flour, plus additional as needed

1½ tsp (7 mL) baking powder

½ tsp (2 mL) salt

¼ tsp (1 mL) baking soda

1 cup (250 mL) 2% plain low-fat Greek yogurt

 Flavoring (optional, see cook’s tip)

¼ tbsp (7 mL) olive, canola or vegetable oil to grease stone


In large bowl, combine dry ingredients; mix well. Stir in yogurt and flavoring (if desired); mix until combined (mixture will look dry).

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead dough 4 minutes, sprinkling with additional flour as needed. Shape dough into a ball.


• Preheat grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat.

• Roll dough into a 12” (30-cm) circle on a Pastry Mat using a lightly floured Baker’s Roller®. Brush Rockcrok Grill Stone with oil and transfer the dough onto the grill stone. Roll out dough to edges. Pierce entire surface of dough using pastry tool.

• Place Grill Stone on the grill. Grill, covered, 9-13 minutes or until bottom of crust is golden brown, rotating Grill Stone halfway through grill time. Remove Grill Stone from grill.

• Flip crust and top with your favorite toppings. Grill 4-6 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown. Remove Grill Stone from grill.

• Divide dough in half and roll out each ball of dough onto the Pastry Mat to 8” (20 cm) discs.

• Preheat Waffle Puff Pan on medium heat for 2 minutes. Flip and heat for 1 minute. Spray both sides of the waffle maker with oil using the Kitchen Spritzer.

• Place the dough in the waffle maker and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip the waffle maker over and cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat this step with the remaining piece of dough. Remove with Nylon Fork.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 150, Total Fat 2 g, Saturated Fat 0.5 g, Cholesterol 5 mg, Sodium 380 mg, Carbohydrate 26 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 6 g

Cook's Tips:

Here are some easy ways to flavor your crust: Stir in 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh herb or 2 tsp (10 mL) grated lemon zest into dry ingredients. Or, stir in 2 tbsp (30 mL) prepared pesto into yogurt.

To prepare this recipe in a conventional oven, preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).  Prepare recipe as directed in steps 1-4.  Bake crust on lowest rack of oven 14-16 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Top as desired.  Bake 6-9 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown. 


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2 tbsp (30 mL)    butter

3 tbsp (45 mL)    Dijon mustard

3 tbsp (45 mL)    honey

2 tsp (10 mL)    fresh lime juice

2 tsp (10 mL)    cayenne pepper sauce

12 chicken wingettes or drumettes (about 2 lbs/1 kg)

1 green onion


Preheat broiler. Place butter in Classic Batter Bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 20-30 seconds or until melted. Add mustard, honey, lime juice and cayenne pepper sauce to batter bowl; whisk until blended.

Place wings in Rockcrok® (2.5-qt./2.35-L) Everyday Pan. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 7-9 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C).

Carefully remove pan from microwave. Drain wings in Stainless Mesh Colander and return wings to Pan. Add half of the sauce to wings and turn with Chef’s Tongs until evenly coated. Place Pan 2-4 in. (5-10 cm) from heating element; broil 6-10 minutes or until wings begin to brown. 


Meanwhile, finely slice green onion with Chef’s Knife. Remove Pan from broiler. Pour remaining sauce over wings. Sprinkle with green onion and serve. 

Yield: 12 servings of 1 wing

Nutrients per serving: Calories 150, Total Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 3.5 g, Cholesterol 45 mg, Sodium 170 mg, Carbohydrate 5 g, Fiber 0 g, Protein 9 g


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Herb Butter

1½ tbsp (22 mL) butter, softened

½ tsp (2 mL) orange zest

1 tsp (5 mL) each fresh thyme and parsley leaves, chopped

Veggies & Salmon

1 tsp (5 mL) canola oil

¾ lb. (375 g) fresh greens beans, trimmed and cut into 1" (2.5-cm) pieces

1 small red bell pepper, chopped

½ small shallot, thinly sliced

1 tsp (5 mL) salt, divided

4 salmon fillets (6 oz. /175 g each)

¼ tsp (1 mL) black pepper

½ cup (125 mL) orange juice

4 fresh thyme sprigs


Combine all the ingredients for the herb butter in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.

For the veggies, set the Quick Cooker to SEAR and press START. Heat the oil for 3 minutes. Add the green beans, bell pepper, shallot, and ½ tsp (2 mL) of the salt. Cook uncovered for 6–8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the green beans are slightly brown.* Press CANCEL. Carefully remove the mixture from the inner pot and place it into the Ceramic Pot.* Cover with the stretch-fit lid.

Season the salmon with the remaining salt and the black pepper. Add the juice, thyme sprigs, and salmon to the inner pot. Place the wire rack into the inner pot with all three feet touching the bottom. ** Place the ceramic pot into the wire cradle and lower it onto the wire rack over the salmon. Lock the lid, select the FISH/SEAFOOD setting, and press START.

When the timer is up, press CANCEL. Press the steam-release button to manually release the pressure.

Carefully lift the ceramic pot out.† Add the remaining salt and ½ tbsp (7 mL) of the herbed butter to the green beans and toss to coat. Top the salmon with the remaining herbed butter to serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrients per serving: U.S. nutrients per serving (1 salmon fillet and about ½ cup/125 mL veggies): Calories 320, Total Fat 13 g, Saturated Fat 4.5 g, Cholesterol 90 mg, Sodium 720 mg, Carbohydrate 12 g, Fiber 3 g, Sugars 7 g, Protein 37 g

Cook's Tips: Safety Tips:

*The stainless steel inner pot will be hot during and after cooking. Use a long-handled utensil when stirring and removing food.

**Use oven mitts or tongs to lower the wire rack into the inner pot. Use oven mitts or grips to remove the ceramic pot from the inner pot.


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Lightened-Up Caesar Dressing

⅔ cup (150 mL) plain fat-free yogurt

3 tbsp (45mL) lemon juice

1½ tbsp (22 mL) red wine vinegar

1½ tbsp (22 mL) Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp (10 mL) anchovy paste

2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard

½ tsp (2 mL) black pepper

2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil


1   French demi-baguette (about 4 oz/125 g)

1 tbsp (15mL) olive oil

1 tbsp (15mL) Garlic & Herb Rub

8 oz (250 g) fresh asparagus, trimmed

½   medium zucchini

3   romaine hearts, divided

3   hard boiled eggs, peeled

½ oz (15 g) fresh Parmesan cheese


Combine the dressing ingredients in the Measure, Mix & Pour®. Set aside 3 tbsp (45 mL) of dressing.

For the croutons, use the Coated Bread Knife to cut the baguette into 1" (2.5-cm) cubes. Place the bread in a medium bowl and toss with the oil and rub.

Cut the asparagus into 1" (2.5-cm) pieces. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, and then slice into half-moons with the Quick Slice.

Heat the Executive Nonstick Double Burner Grill over medium-high heat for 3–5 minutes. Place the bread pieces on one side of the pan and the asparagus and zucchini on the other side. Grill for 5–6 minutes, or until grill marks appear and the bread is toasted, turning occasionally. Transfer the vegetables and toasted bread to a large serving bowl.

Cut 2 of the romaine hearts in half lengthwise, keeping the core intact.

Brush the romaine pieces with the reserved dressing. Place the romaine hearts in the pan, cut-side down. Grill for 2–5 minutes, or until grill marks appear and the edges are slightly charred, turning occasionally.

Transfer the romaine from the pan to a cutting board. Slice both the grilled and remaining fresh romaine and add them to the bowl.

Slice the eggs with the Quick Slice and add them to the bowl. Pour about ½ cup (125 mL) of the dressing over the salad. Grate the Parmesan over the top with the Microplane® Adjustable Fine Grater or Zester. Toss well to combine.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrients per serving: U.S. Nutrients per serving (¼ of the salad and 2 tbsp/30 mL dressing): Calories 250, Total Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 2.5 g, Cholesterol 150 mg, Sodium 590 mg, Carbohydrate 27 g, Fiber 5 g, Sugars 9 g, Protein 14 g

Cook's Tips:

You’ll have some leftover salad dressing. Use if for your next salad, or to marinate chicken or vegetables before cooking.


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1 pkg. (17.5 oz/510 g) sugar cookie mix

1/3 cup (75 mL) flour

1 can (16 oz/450 g) white frosting

 Red food coloring

 Coconut flakes (optional)


Mix sugar cookie mix with flour in the Classic Batter Bowl and refrigerate (covered with plastic wrap) for 30 minutes before rolling out with the Baker’s Roller®. Cut out the body with a 2½" Biscuit Cutter, the feet with a 1½" Biscuit Cutter (shape into ovals) and the tail with The Corer™. Bake per package directions and allow to cool.

Frost and decorate as shown (use pink-tinted frosting in the Easy Accent® Decorator with writing tip for the feet detail, and sprinkle coconut flakes on the tail), then assemble.


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1/2 package (15 ounces) refrigerated pie crust (1 crust)

1 container (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided

1 package (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate morsels

1 1/2 cups cold milk

1 package (5.1 ounces) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling (6 servings)

1/2 teaspoon rum extract (optional)

2 medium bananas, sliced, divided

Strawberries, for garnish


Preheat oven to 425°F. Let pie crust stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Gently unfold onto lightly floured surface. Roll to 11 1/2-inch circle using floured Baker's Roller®. Place crust in Deep Dish Pie Plate, pressing dough into bottom and up sides. Prick bottom and sides using pastry tool. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.

Place 1 1/2 cups of the whipped topping and chocolate morsels in Small Micro-Cooker®. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 30-45 seconds; stir until smooth. Remove 2 tablespoons of the chocolate mixture to a small, resealable plastic bag for garnishing; set aside. Spread remaining chocolate mixture over bottom of pie crust using All-Purpose Spreader. Place crust in freezer while preparing pudding.

Pour milk into Classic Batter Bowl. Add pudding mix and rum extract; whisk 1 minute or until mixture begins to thicken. Fold in 1 1/2 cups of the whipped topping.

Slice 1 1/2 bananas; arrange slices over chocolate mixture in crust. Spread pudding mixture over bananas. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

To garnish pie, cut small tip off corner of plastic bag filled with chocolate mixture. Squeeze chocolate mixture over pie in decorative design. Fill Easy Accent® Decorator with remaining whipped topping. Pipe rosettes at edge of pie. Garnish with remaining 1/2 banana and strawberries, sliced. Cut pie into wedges.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 470, Total Fat 22 g, Saturated Fat 14 g, Cholesterol 10 mg, Carbohydrate 63 g, Protein 3 g, Sodium 380 mg, Fiber less than 1 g

U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 starch, 3 fruit, 4 fat (4 carb, 3 1/2 fat)

Cook's Tips:

For a colder serving temperature and easier cutting, refrigerate pie 1-2 hours.

When placing refrigerated pie crust in the Deep Dish Pie Plate, evenly ruffle edge of crust inside pie plate for picture-perfect results. To keep crust from slipping down sides of pie plate during baking, firmly press edge of pie crust to fluted edge of pie plate in several places.

When preparing the chocolate garnish, it's handy to place the resealable plastic bag inside a Measure-All® Cup before filling it with the chocolate mixture.

Use the Egg Slicer Plus® for slicing the bananas and strawberries.

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For more delicious recipes and to order products for your kitchen, visit Email her at





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